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Hayes named freshman of the year

Eastern New Mexico University’s Tyler Hayes, who flirted with a .400 batting average until the final weekend of the season, has been chosen the Lone Star Conference South Division’s freshman of the year in baseball for the 2004 season.

The third baseman from Houston finished with a team-high mark of .387 and was one of four Greyhounds chosen to the All-South first team in selections released this week by the conference office in Richardson, Texas.

Other Hounds first-team choices were sophomore pitcher Kelly Crain of Gordon, Texas; junior first baseman Mark Wallace of Alamogordo; and senior outfielder Boyd Erickson of Anchorage, Alaska. Also, junior shortstop Josh Kuchta of Clovis was named to the division’s second team.

Crain went 5-3 with a team-best 4.86 earned run average, and pitched five of Eastern’s eight complete games. Erickson finished with a .364 batting average and a team-leading four home runs, while Wallace hit .350 with a team-high 37 runs batted in. Kuchta batted .360.

Rhoten honored — ENMU senior pitcher-first baseman Maegan Rhoten of Albuquerque was a first-team selection as a utility player on the All-LSC South softball team, also released this week.

Rhoten batted .267 while tying for second in the LSC in triples with six. On the mound, she posted a 3.06 ERA despite a 3-15 pitching record.

It was her fourth consecutive year to earn All-South honors, all as a utility player. She was first team in 2001 when the Zias reached the NCAA Division II national tournament, second team in 2002 and honorable mention as a junior.

Two ENMU sophomores, catcher Courtney McClasky of Keller, Texas, and second baseman Tracy Jordan of Rosamond, Calif., were honorable mention.

Greatest Greyhound, Zia — Rhoten also earned ENMU’s annual “Greatest Zia” award at the school’s all-sports banquet last week, while basketball player Garland Coleman was named “Greatest Greyhound.”

Rhoten finished her softball career second on ENMU’s all-time list in runs batted in (125), home runs (23), doubles (42) and pitching strikeouts (349). She ranks third in complete games (42), tied for third in triples (8), fourth in runs scored (93) and fifth in hits (172).

Coleman helped the ENMU men’s basketball team compile a 59-51 record over the past four seasons, including back-to-back South championships the last two years. He was the South’s defensive player of the year as a junior and earned honorable mention All-South honors this season.

Coleman is 21st in scoring in ENMU history with 985 points. For his career, he shot 52 percent from the field and compiled 527 rebounds, 267 assists and 150 steals.

Signees — Rhyne Fuller, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound third baseman and pitcher from Cooper High School in Lubbock, has signed a national letter of intent to play baseball at Eastern New Mexico University.

Fuller has hit .603 with four homers and 73 runs batted in while going 7-1 on the mound with a 1.14 earned run average, helping the Pirates to a 23-1 record. He has pitched three complete games, including two shutouts.

ENMU women’s soccer coach Travis McCorkle has signed Marcela Garcia, a 5-9 defender from Cibola High School in Albuquerque. She was a co-captain last season at Cibola and earned all-district and all-metro honors.

McCorkle, who will also coach a new men’s soccer program next year, has now signed 12 women for next season. The Zias were 3-12 last fall, including 2-7 in the Lone Star Conference, in their first season of competition.